Maid for the Rock Star - Demelza Carlton - kostenlos E-Book
Beschreibung

A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules.Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have?Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.

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Contents

Title Page

Dedication

Free books

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

Part 28

Part 29

Part 30

Part 31

Part 32

Part 33

Part 34

Part 35

Part 36

Part 37

Part 38

Part 39

Part 40

Part 41

Part 42

Part 43

Part 44

Part 45

Part 46

Part 47

Part 48

Part 49

Part 50

Part 51

Part 52

Part 53

Part 54

Part 55

Part 56

Part 57

Part 58

Part 59

Part 60

Part 61

Author's Note

Bride Bonus Chapter 1

Bride Bonus Chapter 2

Bride Bonus Chapter 3

Free books

About the Author

Maid for the

Rock Star

Demelza Carlton

This book is for Joe.

Without his stories about fishing and living in the Kimberley, the Romance Island Resort wouldn't exist.

Copyright © 2015 Demelza Carlton

Lost Plot Press

Click here to get started – http://subscribe.demelzacarlton.com/RIR8

ONE

"Rock stars don't retire at twenty-five! I'm way too young. And there's no way in hell I'm taking up lawn bowls." Jason stared moodily out the helicopter window at the pearl farm below.

Beside him, Jo shrugged. "So get a job. Find a different hobby. And no, banging every girl you meet isn't a hobby. It's more like an addiction you should kick."

"It's not my fault women find me irresistible," he said smugly. "I'm a fucking rock star. C'mon, sis, name two women who wouldn't sleep with me if I asked them."

"Well, there's me, for a start." Jo spotted the pearl farm. "Ooh, I should stop there before I leave town. I could wear pearls in the office..."

Jason snorted. "You're family. You don't count."

Jo favoured him with the glare he'd seen her practising in the mirror – the one she planned to use on staff who'd blown their budgets. "My dear stepbrother, in case you've forgotten, there's no blood relationship between us. So if you truly are irresistible, your charms should work on me. And I'm just not interested."

"No, you're just crazy." Jason waved a hand up and down the body he knew was sculpted to perfection. "No sane woman can resist this."

"Approaching Romance Island now. I'll have you on the ground in five minutes," the pilot said flatly.

Jason considered her. No, too old. She had to be well over thirty. He peered back out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of bikini-clad bodies on the beach as the white and green streak on the horizon expanded into a heart-shaped atoll.

He couldn't help feeling a thrill of excitement. This was the place, he knew it. This exclusive tropical resort was where a rock star could get a bit of rest and recuperation, with plenty of female company to keep him busy at night. And when Angel came to her senses and set out to find him...well, here he'd be. In paradise. What more could she ask for than the perfect man in the perfect setting? Maybe she'd reconsider her decision to break up the band, agree to do a comeback tour, and realise that nothing was better than living the rock star life. She just needed a bit of time, that's all. Time he'd spend in paradise, living it up.

He wondered whether he wanted blonde, brunette or a rare redhead tonight. When the helicopter bumped to the ground, he decided to leave it up to chance. After all, he could try something different tomorrow.

TWO

"Audra, you'll take care of the Pearls this week." Annette didn't lift her eyes from the staff roster in her hands.

Audra raised her eyebrows at hearing the name of the resort's crown jewels. "I thought only Jackie cleaned the Pearl Villas." Casual housekeeping staff like her didn't have a hope in hell of getting near the VIPs who stayed in the Pearls. She usually ended up dealing with the motel-style rooms in the main building. Families, honeymoon couples and well-paid professionals who didn't have secrets to keep like the Pearl guests did on the other side of the lagoon.

Annette shrugged. "Jackie's off sick. Injured her knee when she slipped cleaning one of the bathrooms. I can assign one of the other girls – Penny, maybe – but you asked for more responsibility, and if you want to stay on after the dry season's over, you'll have to know how to deal with VIPs."

And if she didn't, Penny might get the permanent position instead, was what Annette didn't say. She didn't have to. Audra needed the job and she couldn't afford to lose it to Penny. This job would see her through until next year's round of graduate job offers, if she could win the contested full-time position in the off season. Otherwise, she'd be forced to return to endless rounds of job-hunting between queuing up for unemployment benefits. Just like her brothers and her father. "No, I'll do it," Audra replied. "Thank you."

"You should thank me. Maxima's the only villa occupied at the moment. One VIP whose only request is privacy and solitude. Should be easy."

Audra nodded, but she didn't agree. Nothing in her life was ever easy.

Annette set the roster down on the table and pulled her phone out of her pocket. "I'll just send a message to Dennis and get him to authorise access for you." She tapped at her phone screen. "There. Run on over to Reception and he'll take care of it."

Thanking her boss one last time, Audra left the staff dining room and wended her way past the staff accommodation, through the palm trees and up to the main building. It wasn't until she reached the doors that she caught more than a glimpse of the heart-shaped lagoon that gave Romance Island its name. Not for the first time, she marvelled at how well the luxury resort's service areas were hidden among the dense palms and pandanus. When the guests paid a fortune for every night they stayed on the island, they didn't want to be reminded that the small army of staff who served their every need also lived there, rent-free.

Audra breathed in the faint scent of frangipani as she entered the air-conditioned foyer, wishing she could wear one behind her ear like the Reception staff did, but the flowers scarcely stayed in place through the first room she cleaned, let alone the whole day, so she'd given up on them.

Hana, the Japanese tour guide, stood alone at the Reception desk.

"No tours today?" Audra asked.

"Just heli-fishing this morning. This afternoon I have a large group snorkelling in the Rose Garden, if you want to come." Her dark eyes shone with eagerness. Audra suspected Hana preferred being in the water to staying on land, but she didn't understand it.

"Only if you tell the sharks to stay away," Audra replied.

Hana giggled. "Oh, but the reef sharks are the best part! They're so very shy."

"Not with me." Audra still bore the scars of her first meeting with a reef shark. She'd stood knee-deep in the shallows of what had turned out to be the reef shark nursery and one of the beasts had bitten her on the leg. She wouldn't venture into the water again in a hurry.

Speaking of hurrying... She caught a glimpse of Dennis entering the security office, made her excuses to Hana and headed after him.

Dennis gave her a curt nod of recognition and held out his hand. "ID?"

Audra slipped off her wristband and handed it over.

Dennis dropped it into the scanner and drummed his fingers on the keys. "So now you have access to all the Pearl Villas, too. Anything else I can get you?"

Audra shook her head and fastened her ID around her wrist. "Thank you."

"You watch out over there," Dennis said darkly, glaring at the lagoon.

Audra followed his gaze. "Believe me, I'm not interested in getting up close and personal with any more sharks."

He snorted out a laugh. "Not just the sharks in the water. The ones in the villas, too. Rich snobs, people with more money than morality. Or sense. Be careful, or you'll lose your job."

"How? I'm not going to steal from them, and I know all about our confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses. I'm not stupid enough to take any stories to the press."

"That's good, but it's the no-fraternising rule you'll need to remember." His gaze seemed to be searching for her soul.

"I haven't fraternised with anyone, guest or staff, since the day I arrived, and I don't intend to," she replied. "Do you seriously think I'd seduce some old mining tycoon for his fortune?" The money would be handy, she couldn't deny it, but the thought of sleeping with some old man... it just wouldn't be worth it. She wasn't desperate enough to do that.

"No, you're a good girl, but your dad would want me to look out for you, is all. We worked together for long enough, he's almost like family, which makes you family, too. And your mum would kill me if I let anything bad happen to you up here. I'm already in hot water over the shark." Dennis coughed. "There's a reason only Jackie services those houses."

"Because she's the most senior housekeeper under Annette," Audra snapped. "She's damn good at what she does. She still holds the record for being the only person capable of cleaning the entire main building in a single shift, and she managed that ten years ago. No one else can do it."

Dennis nodded thoughtfully. "That's why she's senior staff, yes, but not why she gets the Pearls. We used to send younger staff out there, but I've had to escort too many of them off the island. Seduced by the guests. Money or love or...some of them said they were bullied into it by the VIPs, told they'd lose their jobs if they didn't cater to the guests' every whim. I don't want to see it happen to you."

Audra fought back her anger. Dennis and her parents worried about her, she knew that, but she'd been working part-time hospitality jobs for the last seven years, since she turned fourteen. And she knew how to deal with misogynistic male customers with entitlement issues, whether they were paying a thousand dollars a night for a beachside villa or three dollars for a cup of terrible coffee. Though hot coffee to the crotch was a better defence than trying to crush his foot with a lumbering cleaning trolley full of towels. More satisfying, too.

Unless Dennis knew something he wasn't telling her...

Suspicion drove her to say, "Do you know something about the VIPs here now that you're not telling me? Is it some irresistible porn star or something?"

Dennis laughed. "Nah, no idea who the guests are. Call it a hunch, so I'm telling you to take care."

Audra took a deep breath. "Thanks, Dennis, but we both know no rich guy's going to look at me twice, unless his eyesight's failing. A welfare family girl who grew up in overcrowded public housing? I wouldn't be good enough for him. You've got nothing to worry about."

THREE

"So what do you think?" Jason asked, glancing at Jo.

She scuffed her shoes on the path. "I love the property and the location. Infrastructure looks sound, quality and environmental standards are top-notch and everything's built to withstand cyclones. That cyclone shelter looks like it could survive the bloody apocalypse. As far as real estate goes, it's beautiful and brilliant. But as a business...I'm not sure. I mean, it's a remote, luxury resort and it's peak season, yet the place is half empty. I'd buy the property as a long-term investment and let some hotel chain manage the place, but none of them seem interested. That's one hell of a warning sign. Add that to the asking price, which is much too high, and...no. I don't want to buy the place."

"But I want to live here. I'm going to stay here for the whole month, just like we planned."

His sister stared at him as if he'd spoken Chinese and not English. "Why? I mean, I get it's nice for a holiday but the isolation would kill you. You're miserable when you're not surrounded by fans. How long would you like living out here alone?"

Jason laughed. "I wouldn't be alone. There's a hotel full of people here. Well, half-full, maybe. Different girls every night, all looking for a good time. It's like rock star heaven."

"And that's what you want, a new girl every night? That's all you want out of life?"

Jason couldn't stand seeing the pity and disgust in her eyes, so he surveyed the lagoon instead. "Until I find the right one, yeah." She'd come. She had to. And when she did, he'd be waiting on a romantic beach with open arms.

"You'll never find her that way, Jason. Instead, you're going to be very lonely."

"I'm never lonely. I can have any girl I want, remember?"

Jo rolled her eyes. "Yeah, except me and anyone who really matters. And I'm not staying at a resort in the middle of nowhere that I don't want to buy. I'll be gone tonight, so you can have your little orgies from dusk 'til dawn without me complaining that your bed partners make too much noise." She sighed. "You're still hung up on her, aren't you?"

"No!" Even Jason heard the defensiveness in his tone.

"So why are you hiding out on this island for a month?" Jo persisted.

"Checking the place out before I buy it. Working out if I want to retire here and go from rock star to hotel owner. I always figured I'd go down in history as rock star royalty like the Stones, not bail out of the music industry before I hit thirty. It feels too soon, you know?" Jason tried to sound virtuous. "I'm going to spend a month working out what I want to do next in my life. What path I want to take."

Jo snorted. "Want me to find you a career guidance counsellor? I bet the local high school or unemployment office has one. I'll see if she's willing to fly over here for a day as a consultant to counsel you on your career choices."

Thinking of the young, female teacher who'd been his guidance counsellor at high school, Jason perked up. "Is she as hot as Miss – "

"How the hell should I know? Probably not. Might even be a man."

"Fuck no. I don't need some bloke telling me what to do. Trevor's bad enough." Jason couldn't suppress a shudder. He'd never admit it aloud, but he was terrified of the band's security consultant. The man was an ex-US Marine who'd served in Afghanistan, for fuck's sake. He could kill a man with his bare hands, Jason was sure of it. Hey, maybe that was one good thing about the band breaking up. No more wondering if today he'd finally push Trevor over the edge and the man's angry face would be the last sight he'd ever see.

"I don't remember you complaining when Trevor scared off that scary stalker chick who swore she was carrying your baby. What was her name again?" Jo retorted.

He didn't remember and he didn't want to. The baby wasn't his – condoms made sure of that. And he didn't want to talk or even think about crazy girls who didn't understand the meaning of the word no. He waved his wristband at the scanner below the ornate sign that read VILLA MAXIMA and suppressed a sigh of relief when the door opened. It may as well have said HOME SWEET HOME for all he cared. This was the place. For the next month, it would be rock star heaven. He was certain of it. But first, he wanted to be that little bit more comfortable.

"I need to take a piss." He strode into his villa, fumbling with his zipper as he headed for the bathroom.

FOUR

Audra tucked her dusting cloth into the hamper for dirty linen as the door clicked closed behind her, muffling the robotic vacuum cleaner's whirring as it scooted around the floors of Villa Pinctada. She had one last villa left – Maxima, the inhabited one. Deciding to leave her trolley at the bottom of the steps beside Pinctada, Audra trotted up to the grand front entrance of the hotel's most expensive accommodation.

Her wristband triggered the door as she approached, but still she hesitated. "Hello, Housekeeping," she called, crossing her fingers in the hope of receiving no reply. She repeated the call twice, before cheering inwardly that the residents weren't home. Her first day of dealing with VIPs was a success – because she hadn't seen a single one.

The dirty glasses lined up on the sink marked this villa as occupied. Audra loaded them into the dishwasher and a few swipes of the cleaning cloth later, she crossed the kitchen off her list of rooms to clean. A peep into the bedrooms revealed untouched beds and a single suitcase in the master bedroom – only one VIP, then, or a couple who packed light. Better than spoilt, snobby children who liked to smear food into the furniture. The laundry hamper was empty, as was the dry-cleaning one. That left only the bathroom.

For the second time, she crossed her fingers as she entered the sparkling white porcelain cave that was bigger than her bedroom in the staff accommodation. Toiletries, tiles...even the toilet paper was untouched, still folded into its arrow point from the last time Jackie had cleaned the villa. The only splash of colour in the room was a tiny green frog statue on the edge of the spa. It was a perfect replica of the ones that plagued the staff toilets. Good thing it wasn't real or she'd have to –

The statue hopped onto the soap dish. Of all the villas for a frog to pick, it had to choose the inhabited one. Audra spread out her dusting cloth and threw it, covering the frog and its perch. She hastily bundled the whole thing up, hoping to carry the frog outside, but it squirmed out and dropped into the tub. Where it had three fat friends. Audra swore.

She knew the hotel rules. All the wildlife on the island reserve was protected. She'd be fined if she deliberately hurt a frog. So she could either take them outside or shoo them down the drain they'd climbed up in the first place. The grating on the spa drain sat beside the hole it was supposed to be guarding, gaping a welcome to her amphibian antagonists.

Game on. Audra climbed over the edge and slid to the bottom of the two-person tub. She grabbed the stack of fresh towels she'd brought with her and rolled a couple into a temporary fence around the frogs. She unfolded a third and spread it over the top of the enclosure. All she had to do was nudge them into the drain. Slowly, carefully...a muffled plop sounded from under the towel. One down, three to go.

Steadily, Audra tightened the enclosure, hearing another satisfying plop. She continued pushing the towels together until there wasn't space for a frog between them. Cautiously, she lifted them up. No more frogs, to her delight. That left only the escape hatch to secure. The drain grille was easily replaced, but there was nothing holding it in place to prevent the frogs from jumping right back up again. Pulling her multi-tool out, Audra unfolded the pliers and went to work on the metal, bending the edges so it wedged tightly into the top of the drain hole. Satisfied, she sat up and tucked the multi-tool back into her pocket.

The sound of running water made her freeze. The spa tap wasn't turned on and neither was the shower. The flow was too strong for the basin tap, so Audra stared in horror at the man relieving himself into the toilet bowl. Expensive designer jeans clung to what she had to admit was a very peachy bum – so shapely that it took her a moment to register that the guy was wearing jeans in a tropical climate. Her VIP was a foreign tourist, definitely. A foreigner with a fire hose.

In a tiny house like her parents', privacy was a precious commodity and soundproofing was non-existent. So with three brothers and her dad using the toilet beside the bedroom she shared with her younger sister, Samantha, the two girls had categorised the noises they heard as they lay giggling in their bunk beds at night.

There were the tinklers – usually little boys and old men who tinkled in a tiny trickle for eternity like a leaky tap. Then there were the sprayers – who didn't aim for the bottom of the toilet bowl but liked the sound of liquid falling on porcelain, or so it seemed. And the gushers – those who'd built up a whole head of pressure and were going at it like a fire hose. As both she and her brothers had grown up, she'd added a fourth category to the list – the beaters. These took advantage of the privacy of the toilet to jack off, and their tell-tale moans and groans had always made her laugh.

Mr VIP Peach-Bum – or should that be Plum-Bum, given his dark jeans? – most certainly wasn't a beater: he was the sort of high-pressure gusher you got from a three-hour drive down unsealed roads from town, then a rough boat trip through changing tides to the island. Or a bender involving a carton or two of cheap beer, a bottle of bourbon and a football match on TV so riveting they couldn't leave it until the final whistle blew. No, foreign tourists didn't understand Aussie rules football.

She considered climbing out of the bath and sneaking out while his back was turned, but it made more sense to stay where she was. At least then she had the excuse of dealing with the frogs – she could say she hadn't seen or heard a thing. And she hadn't – until the man shook himself and turned slightly to reach for the toilet paper. Then she saw what she had to admit was quite a sizeable piece of equipment before he tucked his fire hose back into his pants and zipped everything safely inside. Maybe he was a porn star.

Well. There was some excitement for a morning. A free show. Audra felt a touch of dampness on her thigh. Oh, bloody hell. Was the frog grinning at her? Little bastard. She grabbed a towel and used it to push it off her leg and closer to the plughole. Shit. She'd sealed it. Audra threw the towel over the top of the cheeky beast and bundled it up, hoping this time she had the frog inside. Now Plum-Bum just had to get the hell out so she could make a dash for the French doors to the veranda.

Water hissed and pattered into the basin, followed by the sound of someone pressing the liquid soap dispenser. She'd never hated good hygiene this much. Why couldn't Plum-Bum forget to wash his hands? The frog was already squirming its way out in another escape attempt.

Footsteps crossed the tiles and she heard a distinctly Aussie voice say, "Shit, I need a beer. What's in the mini-bar today?"

"What do I look like, your maid? Go look for yourself, lazy-arse." The woman sounded like she was in the kitchen.

"I have it on good authority that it's a fine arse, not that you'd notice, sis. I've had a couple of magazines ask to do centrefolds devoted to this perfection." Plum-Bum's voice faded as he padded off to join the woman that Audra realised was his sister in the kitchen.

Audra breathed again and lifted her head above the lip of the tub. The coast was clear. She vaulted over and sprinted for the outside door. The lock clicked and the doors swung open as she waved her wristband frantically at the scanner. Clutching the bundled towel in her arms, she bumped her certainly-not-centrefold-worthy bottom against the door to shut it. A second click of the lock told her she was safe.

She shook the frog out under the veranda and carried the crumpled towel to her trolley at Pinctada. So much for an uneventful first day in the Pearls. Could this one have been worse?

Yes, she decided. He could have seen her. He could have been doing more than pissing. The frog could have entered her underwear. Or hopped out of the bath and alerted him. Or both. Or it could've been the sister in the bathroom...

Hmm, a brother and sister who could afford Maxima. Were they some mining or media tycoon's grown-up kids? That was almost worse than the younger sort – these would deliberately pour chocolate sauce on the rug and snigger as they watched her clean it up. The sort of people who'd never had to work a day in their lives. She wouldn't let it worry her, but she wouldn't take any shit from them, either.

Audra slung a laundry bag over her shoulder and seized a fresh stack of towels. Lifting her chin, she marched back to the villa.

FIVE

Audra scanned her wristband and waited for the door to open, but it remained firmly shut. The intercom beside her emitted a persistent beep. She swiped her ID down the scanner slowly, so the stupid thing couldn't possibly misread it. She took a calming breath and the beeping stopped...but only for a moment before it resumed.

Audra glared at the intercom screen and was stunned to see a message scrawled across it.

GUESTS AT HOME.

NOTIFY?

Her finger hovered over CANCEL, but she changed her mind and pressed the ENTER button.

A soft chime sounded, echoing in the villa. "Housekeeping at the door," a recorded but mellifluous English voice announced. "Maid service required?"

"Hell yes!" Audra heard Plum-Bum's excited shout.

His sister hushed him. The front door flew open and Audra found herself face to face with a young woman about her own age. Audra lowered her gaze to the woman's expensive shoes. "We don't need anything. We just arrived today and haven't made enough mess to need a clean-up yet."

But I did, Audra thought but didn't say. The bath tub was still full of frog-tainted towels. "Towels," she said, pointing.

"Ask her!" Plum-Bum insisted, his bare feet appearing on the tiles behind the woman. "You'd fuck me, right?"

Wow. He might have decent equipment, but that's all that defined this dickhead. Probably a porn star for sure. "No, thank you," Audra said faintly.

"What'd she say?" Plum-Bum demanded.

The woman shook her head and guided Audra to the bathroom, then blocked the doorway to keep her brother out. "She doesn't understand English. Most hotel maids are foreign migrants, waiting for their qualifications to come through as they improve their English so they can get higher-paying jobs. Besides, she could lose her job for sleeping with a guest. Don't you remember what the hotel manager said about fraternisation policies during our tour? Leave her alone, Jason."

Audra snorted. In Perth, maybe, hotel staff were recent migrants, but not here in Broome. Even the casual staff were Aussie. But if the woman's words kept her oversexed brother's hands off her, all the better. She set the stack of fresh towels on the edge of the spa and stuffed the froggy ones into the laundry bag.

Glass clinked on metal. An empty beer bottle going into the bin, most likely. The crunch and crackle of plastic followed it. Definitely the bin. She'd empty that on the way through and then she could escape the Pearls for the day.

Fixing her eyes firmly on the tiled floor, Audra marched to the kitchen to the approaching beat of helicopter rotors. Third flight today.

"Right, there's my ride returning. Don't get into too much trouble, don't make too much trouble for the staff, and enjoy your holiday. If you're not fit and ready for the band's farewell tour, you know it'll be your balls on the chopping block."

Band? Did she say he was in a band? Audra raised her gaze to scrutinise Plum-Bum's face. Even with the sexy stubble along his usually clean-shaven jaw, she recognised the face from the poster that had adorned her bedroom wall for the better part of the last five years. The one Sam kissed every morning. One she'd fantasised about since high school. Maybe she'd even kissed that poster once or twice herself. She glanced away before he could catch her staring. Oh shit. She'd already seen his –

"Promise me that if you get lonely, you'll call me. Don't do anything stupid." The sister sniffed. "I do love and care about you, you know."

"HA!" he shouted. "I knew it. Told you that you wanted me. It's not incest if I'm your stepbrother. Everyone wants me."

Audra snorted. Arrogant prick. Even she could tell the girl didn't.

"You're delusional, Jason. I love you because you're my brother, blood or no blood. I wouldn't sleep with you if you were the last man on Earth." She pulled out her phone and tapped it meaningfully. "Promise me you'll call me."

He nodded sulkily.

Her eyes met Audra's. "Don't take any shit from him. There's a place in town that neuters tomcats for half-price. You can put it on his hotel bill." She winked.

Audra stifled a snort of laughter. Mess with this man's glorious equipment? The world would weep. Especially if castration robbed him of his signature, underwear-igniting singing voice. Even she'd shed a tear for the loss.

She waited for the sister to leave before she pulled out the rubbish bin to change the bag inside.

Bare feet appeared beside the bin. "You understood every word, I bet," he said. "And I know you recognised me. If you know who I am, we both already know the answer to my question. So answer me. Would you fuck me?"

SIX

Audra didn't hesitate. "No." She turned to leave before she could take it back and change her answer.

A hand landed heavily on her shoulder. "Fuck, don't go. Do you know who I am?"

Here goes. She sighed as she shrugged out of his grasp and turned to face him. "You're Jay Felix, the lead singer of Chaya, and you have an army of fangirls the world over. Your shows are always sold out because you make yourself...accessible to your fans." And the man who'd played centre stage in all her teenage fantasies.

He laughed. "More like they make themselves accessible to me." He dropped his voice, into the seductive purr that had made her love his songs back in high school. "Go on, Audrey, tell me you wouldn't."

"I already have," she snapped. "And it's Audra, not Audrey." She peeled her badge off her breast and held it up to his eyes. "Less distraction so you can see it better." And because she wanted to hear his voice caress her name, just once...

"I like the view." He deliberately dropped his gaze to her breasts.

She itched to slap him. She'd never liked her conservative work uniform as much as she did today.

"What more could a woman want than a fucking rock star, Audrey?" he whispered.

Rock star? Man whore, more like. And one who couldn't even get her name right. Audra looked him in the eye. "Less swearing, for a start. A bit of honesty. Humility. Someone who listens and remembers her name. Being someone's one and only, and knowing your partner isn't the darling of millions, but yours."

"Mine?" He stepped closer to her so she could feel his breath warm on her face. "You want to be mine?"

YES, every cell in her body screamed, or at least those below the neck. The ones in her brain were blaring warning sirens against dickheads who didn't know her name and would cause her to lose her job without caring. Yet here was her high school heart-throb, standing so close to her she could reach out and touch him. Close enough to smell him. Audra backed away, wrinkling her nose in defence against the man's scent. He smelled like the ever-present pindan dust on the mainland, overlaid with sweat from walking outside in the humidity, with a tantalising top note from the frangipani soap in the bathroom, reminding her of what she'd seen there. Her eyes strayed to the front of his pants.

His hand slid into view, covering his crotch. "I'll give it to you if you admit you want it."

For an insane instant, she considered it. Considered giving in to her own teenage desires to get up close and personal with a rock star. But she wasn't at high school any more. "Mr Felix, that's a lovely offer and I truly appreciate it, but I'm in the middle of my work shift. I have a lot to do today." Like round up all the robotic vacuum cleaners in the other villas. She prayed she wouldn't have to chase any under the bed.

"Working. Of course." His smile said he thought it was a joke. "When do you get off? I want to be there when you do."

Him and his bloody double-entendres. Sleazy, persistent, arrogant rock star. "Sorry, Mr Felix, but staff don't fraternise with guests. It's against the rules." She flashed a professional smile. "I have other guests to see to. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call Reception. They'll be happy to help." She forced her steps to remain confident as she walked out the front door, down the stairs and into Pinctada. When the door closed behind her, she pressed her back against it and slid to the floor.

Why did it have to be him? The image of male perfection she'd admired in his posters and music videos, dreaming that one day she'd get to meet him and maybe, just maybe, she'd know one night of bliss in his arms. That's what the press said about Jay Felix – there were dozens of stories about girls he'd loved intensely for one night. Never more than one night. Like the king in the Arabian Nights – one night with his queen and the next morning she'd perish. Not that Jay was known for killing women. No, he left them very much alive and singing his praises. Every high school girl the world over wanted to be the one to cure him of his tomcatting ways, to be the Scheherazade to tame him. She wondered if she'd have been as enamoured of him if she'd known his idea of seduction included staring at a girl's breasts as he casually asked to be fucked. Or that his equipment rivalled that of the Brahman bulls over on the mainland. He probably rutted like one, too. Mm, how romantic.

She laughed until tears rolled down her face. As a teenager, she'd have given anything for what had just happened, swearing and all. But now? She wondered if the veterinarian in town who offered half-price neutering would take a human tomcat. His sister had the right idea. She wouldn't sleep with him if he was the last man on Earth.

SEVEN

"Audra!" someone shouted.

She switched off the vacuum cleaner, dragging her eyes away from the sweaty, well-muscled man bench-pressing by the window. "Yes?"

The personal trainer lowered his voice. "Message for you from Reception. One of your guests needs help with the TV."

Her guests? Since when did she have her own guests? And didn't Engineering or IT normally handle technology issues? "What room?"

Serge pointed to his ID. "Villa Maxima."

Audra checked her wrist and, sure enough, Maxima scrolled across the ID display. Of course. Mr Rock Star needed a maid to turn on his television, most likely. Couldn't press the buttons himself because he didn't know how. Probably couldn't even find them.

"Get him to call Engineering," she said, reaching for the vacuum's power button without even glancing at it.

"The Pearls get maid service. Jackie used to complain about it, too. VIPs can't call tech support on their own. That's what you're for." Serge shrugged. The movement flexed his arm muscles and put the bench-presser to shame. "Can you see if any of them need a personal trainer this week? Or a fitness class? I'm low on bookings and if they don't pick up, Adam won't need an assistant any more. I'll have to go back to the farm, working sixteen-hour days again. Not to mention I won't get enough hours to be certified so I can leave the farm forever. If one of the VIPs requests daily yoga or pilates or personal training..." He looked hopeful.

Someone else who desperately wanted out of the life family and fate had forced upon him. How could she refuse? "I'll see what I can do," Audra replied. "You could always suggest wellness classes for staff, or let them attend the guest programmes. I know Pamela would love a yoga class and Penny complains daily that she can't do some sort of dance fitness programme here." She found Serge staring at her. "What?"

"If I get approval for staff classes, would you be there?"

She knew that look, but she blushed anyway. "Maybe, if my roster allows. And this VIP doesn't want to tie me up in his room for the duration of his stay. If I'm not in the staff dining room at six, can you come rescue me?"

Serge grinned. "Gladly."

Audra tucked the vacuum cleaner into the gym's cleaning cupboard and set out through the jungle to Villa Maxima. Flying fish skimmed across the lagoon and she wished she owned a camera good enough to catch them at play. One day, she promised herself. One day she'd earn enough money to come here as a guest on holiday with an SLR camera. But that day would be a long time coming.

She reached the door and paused to take a deep breath. Patience, calm and don't kill the VIP, she told herself. Then she rapped on the frosted glass door. "Maid service, Mr Felix."

"It's open."

It wasn't, so she swiped her wristband, waiting for the intercom to beep as it had earlier.

The door hissed open. Audra swallowed her surprise and strode inside. She should be used to automatic doors by now.

"In here."

Audra followed the sound of his voice to the theatre room, where he lay sprawled across the modular sofa in his black boxer briefs and nothing else. He reached down to scratch his sizeable, cotton-clad bulge.

Clearing her throat, Audra began, "Reception said you were having trouble with the TV?" She crossed the floor so she could focus on the screen and not the chiselled man tempting her like a bar of the best chocolate. The dickhead had a body that rivalled Serge's. Speaking of Serge... "If you like, I'll arrange to get a repair crew from Engineering out here. I could arrange some other activity for you in the meantime. Perhaps book you a session with the personal trainer in the gym..." She squinted at the screen. The picture seemed to be just fine, if a bit blurred. It took her a moment to realise what she was seeing projected across the wall. Then she didn't know where to look. "I take it you don't want to watch the adult movie channel?" Audra enquired, trying to keep a straight face. She'd heard every excuse in the book for why hotel guests had accidentally accessed the channel. She wondered if he'd have a new one.

Jay laughed. "Babe, I'm a rock star. Porn goes with the territory. I don't usually watch it alone, is all."

"Ah." She really didn't know what to say. Had he called her to come and watch adult movies with him? She heartily hoped that wasn't included in her job description.

"Nah, it's this awesome blowjob the chick did. Here, check it out." To Audra's horror, he flipped the movie back to a different scene and made it play. Her mouth dropped open as she watched the male porn star's genitals disappear down his co-star's throat, while he grinned beneath his moustache and made a lot of noise to express his evident pleasure. An excruciatingly long moment later, Jay paused the film on an extreme close-up of the action. "There. Can you do that?"

"No." In fact, Audra didn't think any normal woman could.

"Aw, c'mon, babe. For me. Give it a shot." His boxer briefs landed on the floor beside her foot.

Audra took a deep breath, forcing her eyes to face forward and under no circumstances glance at the hot, naked rock star on the couch behind her. If she did, she knew she wouldn't be able to resist him.

"Mr Felix."

"Babe, once you've sucked my cock, you can call me Jay."

Thank you, coarse-tongued creep for breaking the spell. Two more deep breaths and she managed to find the strength to refuse. "Mr Felix, I think you've confused maid service with the services of a prostitute. My job description doesn't include sexual favours. I can contact Reception and ask them to arrange transport for you to the brothel in town, where you can – "

"Babe, I'm a fucking rock star. I don't need to pay for sex. I have chicks lining up to suck my dick. Fuck, they'd pay me for it."

Reluctantly, Audra turned to face the arrogant prick. She held his gaze, not trusting herself to look anywhere else. "Please don't swear at me, Mr Felix. And I hate to tell you this, but there isn't anyone waiting outside. Perhaps your adoring fans aren't aware that you're here. If there were such a queue, I'd be able to escort the first lady in line inside to see to your...needs." She heard the distaste in her voice and changed the subject. "So can I report to Reception that your TV is now working fine and get back to my other duties?"